Nagpur: Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), which is also known for its river ecosystem and tigers. And it is also home to rare species of spiders. A team of experts has discovered 1 completely new species of spider in Melghat Tiger Reserve which is known as the lynx spider (Oxyops kolkhasensis).
The brand new species was discovered by a team consisting of Atul Bodkhe, Virendra Prasad Uniyal from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Irina Das Sarkar, and associate professor with JD Patil Sangludkar Mahavidyala, Daryapur.
Atul has said that the very new species is very similar to Oxyops Bharatae Gajbe, discovered in the year 1999. But it is very different from this taxonomically. And the lynx spider is also a much smaller family, hosting 9 genera and about 442 species. And it hunts insects in grassy vegetation.
Recorded Oxyopes Species
These small to large spiders are distinguished by 3 tarsal claws, prominent setae on the legs, and 4 distinct rows of eyes. And most mainly inhabit grass, leaves of plants, and other weeds found on the edges of the field.
Atul also states that the type genus Oxyops, established by the French zoologist Pierre André Latrelle in about 1804, was the first recorded species of the Indian subcontinent in 1805 by the French scientist Charles Athanase Walckenaer. And the genus also represents a diverse group with a global distribution. Of the approximately 290 recorded Oxyops species, about 55 are also recorded in India.
The reported sample was also collected from Colcas area of Melghat Tiger Reserve by sweep netting method from a grassland vegetation patch just near the Government Guest House on the banks of river Sipana.
Atul has also said that this brand new species will be recorded very soon in the World Spider Catalog in the year 2021. And archaeologist has also recorded a male ant spider species (Tropizodium viridurbium) from Melghat for the first time in this country. Melghat is home to more than 700 species of spiders.